Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Four people died in a small plane crash in rural Iowa after the pilot apparently had a heart attack and a student pilot was going to attempt an emergency landing, authorities said Saturday.
Around 5 p.m. Friday, air traffic control in Des Moines requested an emergency landing for a single-engine aircraft at the airport east of Guthrie Center, Guthrie County Sheriff Marty Arganbright said in a release to local media. Traffic control reported that 1979 Piper single-engine plane dropped off radar approximately 4 miles southwest of the airport. Guthrie is 60 miles west of Des Moines.
The Sheriff's Office launched an extensive search and rescue mission to find the aircraft but was hampered by pitch-black conditions in forested areas.
A resident reported seeing a small plane crash in a pasture at 6:31 a.m. Saturday.
"The plane impacted very hard and all occupants were deceased at the scene," Arganbright said in the release.
The pilot, Edward Ralph Anderson, 49, of Le Mars, had an apparent heart attack. Other victims identified Saturday were 36-year-old Patrick Kellen and 15-year-old Samantha Clark, both of Le Mars, and Tyler Douvia, 28, of Merril.
Arganbright said the plane left Le Mars in northwest Iowa at 4:15 p.m. and was headed to Osceola.
The Le Mars Municipal Airport director told KCCI-TV they were going on a hunting trip.